By Yuuki Yamagiwa
Lesley discovered Pilates in 2001 during a mat class in Orange County at Body Arts and Science. She has received her certification as an instructor with Power Pilates in Beverly Hills and is PMA certified. She also received her Masters Certification through the Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. She is a Lead Teacher Trainer for The Equinox Pilates Institute and is a Lululemon Athletica Ambassador and Published Author of Profitable Pilates.
Read on to get a taste of Lesley’s passion and dedication for Pilates, along with what makes her proud as a Pilates instructor!
What do you love most about Pilates?
It’s truly for every-BODY! No matter what other forms of exercise I do, Pilates is there. I can’t think of anything that frustrates me about Pilates. I might get frustrated that my body can’t do something that day. Perhaps that day I can’t get the connection I need, or perhaps the strength I need isn’t there, but that’s not Pilates’ fault. It just is where I am today. The beauty and again what I love about Pilates is that it is for everybody. No matter where your body is that day, Pilates will meet you there.
That’s great to hear that Pilates is for everyone, no matter where their strengths lie. Speaking of strengths, what are your strengths and weaknesses as a Pilates student?
My strength as a student is perseverance. I will study until the end and keep going until I get it. As for weaknesses…well, sometimes I think too much. I get myself bogged down by trying to do instead of just doing. It’s hard being content to just do, but a quick reminder and I am back moving and flowing in the method.
How about as a Pilates instructor?
My strengths as a Pilates instructor include being a positive coach, dedicating to my clients’ goals and their bodies’ needs, and constantly learning. My weakness is that I can’t let you talk negatively about yourself. I can’t let you just “get through it.” I want my clients to learn Pilates, not just choreography.
You’ve been a Pilates instructor for almost a decade. Looking back on your Pilates career, what are you most proud of?
Do I have to pick just one? I am proud of my clients who are taller than their friends are at the age of 80. I am proud of my 14 year old client who is stronger today both inside and out than when we met 2 years ago. I am proud of the many years I have been able to spend with most of my clients now. I have had many of them since 2008. I am proud that I also spend lots of time teaching teachers...that they trust me and my teaching with their practice is truly a blessing. I thoroughly love all the lives I am fortunate to be part of because I teach Pilates.